Le Bon Mélange: Mother of Nirvana

10:23:00 AM

Let's give it up to surviving bringing in the New Year during a retrograde! I don't know about you, but it definitely made my New Year progress a little bit more complicated. Even so, i've been connecting with some great individuals & companies that I think someone out there could find useful. Which brings me to my first "Le Bon Mélange" feature of 2016 with mystical mama, yogi, & creative - Shakara aka @Zuluisms

Shortly after I stumbled upon her page, she was featured on Huffington Post for the "13 Inspirational Instagram Accounts That Prove That Black Yogis Rule" by Taryn Finley, alongside some other great people I follow, including @Alex_Elle​@DeandreYoga, & @WasiaWasia. (Click the links to read the article and/or check out their pages)

 In the article you mentioned "Black women tend to have a lot of outward confidence, though internally we may allow our ego to beat us up spiritually." I really love this statement because it provoked an immediate reaction from me. Over the last couple of years I have incorporated Yoga into my spiritual journey and as much as I hate to say it, I've gotten the most side-eye or sly comments about it from other black people. It's like traveling, one of those silent stigmas "black people don't do". 

Could you tell me a bit about what Yoga means to you & how it's contributed to the beautiful being we see today?

Well first off kudos to you for jumping in! Welcome to one of the most personally revealing journeys of your life! It can definitely be a game of fake it until you make it as far as confidence goes in the beginning. I completely feel what you’ve said. I love platforms like Instagram for constantly allowing a space, which promotes exposure to lifestyles, and healing techniques which many people wouldn’t have easy access to otherwise. It’s crazy that our own people feel this way toward the yogi way of life because yoga originated from US. Yoga has its roots in ancient Kemet (as in Egypt, as in chocolately midnight, glorious and divine BLACK PEOPLE!)

Yoga has become such a dominant part of my life. I even want to say it’s my whole life because; truly my life is one big yoga practice. All sorts of things that I do throughout the day align with the principles of yoga. Many people see the postures and think that’s what yoga is about, but the asanas (postures) are merely physical representations of what yoga is. Yoga is a lifestyle. My favorite way to describe yoga is in the Bhagavad Gita: “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” It’s such a spot on definition. It is totally and completely about the individual journey. It forces each practitioner to confront things about themselves that may not have been so acquainted with prior to.

It reminds us to look at things from different angles (literally lol), breathe evenly, constantly seek balance, trust ourselves, have faith that breakthroughs are coming, let go of expectations, just flow through the tough spots, because it will all get easier.

I love the platform you seem to be setting up for your daughter. What groundwork are you laying down, not only to grow as a mother but as an individual in this beautifully complicated world?

Hmm, I have to think on this one a bit. Beautifully complicated is correct! Much of what I am teaching my daughter has to do with what I’ve discovered about self as I’ve journeyed thus far. My main objective for myself and my daughter is for us to stay true to who we are. I continuously seek to honor my inner voice and trust that I know what is best for me. If I’m truly following my spirit I know what will suit my highest good. No one else can know this for me. So it leaves little room to be swayed by the opinions of others. I spend a lot of time checking in with my Self and my Source each day to make sure they are working in synergy. I am aware of my thoughts and feelings in any given moment. I’ve come to understand more and more in life how much our purpose is wrapped up in our individuality and having the courage to truly be ourselves, and follow our own interests and skill sets. My job as a mother is to help my children learn how to find out who they are and listen to their inner voice as well.  That’s how we get life to unfold in our favor, by being courageous enough to trust our spirits and act on our dreams.

Now lets talk about your awesome online shops, one for the mystics (Nirvana Wild) & one for the cultured (Heart Lab Gift Shop).  

What made you want to create such great diverse pieces?

Thanks so much! I created Heart Lab Gift Shop, to honor my love of diverse cultures and their various approaches to beauty and adornment. The shop is a 100% fundraiser for an organization I am slowly creating called Heart Lab. Heart Lab works for youth leadership and community development through media and the arts. Everything from the shop is imported from various areas of the world. A one stop cultural celebration shop. I hope to have things going again with it soon.

Nirvana Wild is one of my creative outlets and a way to share my gift with people who connect to my vision. I truly create from my spirit. I am inspired by so much and leave myself open to be guided by Source so what you see if a culmination of so many things that I love.

I like to ask everyone I feature, ​what would you say keeps you centered? If you had to list 5 things or less that keeps your life in balance, what would they include? 

Ooo, I have plenty! In no particular order of importance…

1.       First there is yoga. And as I mentioned before yoga expands to many areas of my life. It forces us to be completely in the moment and with ourselves. What you did in the past only matters in that it’s taught you what to do now. And the future hasn’t occurred so worrying about it doesn’t really help anything. Yoga also creates confidence. Confidence is certainly centering because you know that no matter what life is about to throw at you you’re able to handle it gracefully. You trust yourself to stay on point. It’s an endless fight to stay balanced. Not to mention the endless benefits for your body, mind, and spirit. The art of being still. And of Flow, that’s important.

2.      I also like to be in nature and travel often. I feel like both being in nature and new environments are when I hear my Source best. I get clear answers to questions I have or solutions to things agitating my spirit (making me uncomfortable). My intuition is at its peak when in nature. Which also speaks to disconnecting from the endless distractions that tend to be so common in our society. Which leads me to number…

3.      Disconnecting at least for a few moments each day from computers, phones, commercials, everything. And sometimes even people. It all does things to our subconscious that we need to cleanse every now and then. It creates chatter that can take us way off our game and from really hearing ourselves. Meditation is really good for this.

4.      Meditation. It’s a different kind of getaway. A regular mediation practice allows us to learn how to truly be still. In the mind. That’s important to really hear the voice of whatever higher power you connect with. Showing gratitude falls in here too. It’s a form of prayer for me. I keep a gratitude journal, and say thank you often throughout the day. I believe gratitude is a gateway to manifesting your dreams because it creates space for more things to be grateful for. Attracts it. Working on being still and in tune with life helps you understand how to manifest the things you want.

5.      Number five is a wild card because there are things that I don’t do as often as the above but come up every now and then. Reading, writing, I’m a dancer at heart so definitely dancing. Being with loved ones. Anything that seems to do a good job of feeding the soul and all the good places in me. That keeps me centered and wanting to show others how to have more goodness in their lives. That’s my purpose I think. Awakening magic everywhere :)

Lastly, what great things can we look forward to seeing from you, or what's your next endeavor?

Well, I’m always learning and seeking. I am putting work into my personal brand so expect to see more from me outside of Nirvana Wild soon. I’ve really been wanting to be back working with youth soon so Heart Lab will be picking up this year. I’m ACHING to perform again, so who knows what that could mean this year.  I always ask the Universe to be use me to my full potential so there are no limits to what you may see from me in the future. Just keeping up the grind and cranking out awesome content is the move this year. Allowing myself to be lead me to some great things. 

Isn't she lovely?
I really hope you enjoyed this one-on-one as much as I did. Not only am I grateful for her touching on topics that other deem too taboo, I appreciate her for the light she brings to this universe as well as her great gifts she shares with the rest of us. 

If you haven't yet checked out her online stores (Nirvana Wild) & (Heart Lab Gift Shop) please do! She offers so many beautifully unique pieces from both shops at amazing prices.Also, be sure to follow her on Instagram.@Zuluisms@Nirvana.Wild

Until next time...-Twanie

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